I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

I Am Pilgrim - Terry Hayes

I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

Apparently this was big last year – I am so keeping up with the times. A friend had this and thought that I would like it. It was certainly compelling and I now want to get vaccinated for small pox.

Here is the blurb …

Can you commit the perfect crime?

Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation.But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book.What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.

First, this is quite long and could have been edited to make a tighter story. Having said that, however, I was glued to the page. And despite knowing that everything would be all right (because don’t we always know that) I raced to the end to find out how ‘Pilgrim’ will catch ‘Saracen’. I must say I was a bit disappointed by the ending. I don’t want to ruin the story, but I think Saracen acted out of character.

As this novel is written from different points of view including the villain, you, at times, feel sympathy for him and can understand how he becomes what he is – although it is hard to justify testing your small pox strain on innocent aid workers. The characters are complex  (and there are a lot of them) and the coincidence count is high – but that just makes for an entertaining if somewhat far fetched story. The various different places are described well and Mr Hayes uses a lot of fore shadowing to keep the tension high.

Overall I think this is a great thriller with an interesting point to make about disenfranchised (intelligent) young men.

I think this would make a great movie (and I think one is on the cards).

More reviews …



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